Jamaatud Dawa - coming to an App Store soon

Published: November 17, 2012

DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD

KARACHI: 

Encouraged by the response to their active online presence, the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) is now looking to expand its digital footprint and develop games and mobile phone apps. The project, still in its initial stage, is set to launch mid next year.

It envisages making “educational, informative and philanthropic kind of games that will infuse positive thoughts such as helping others in need, emergency situations, Islamic ethics and learning of the Holy Quran and Sunnah,” according to Abdul Rehman from JuD’s information technology and social media department.

The Ahle Hadith group’s acceptance of technology, and particularly digital games, may raise some eyebrows, but Rehman told The Express Tribune in an e-mail interview that, “We have also learned from the life of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), that he has always forbidden from things that waste time and have no benefit as such. Games and cell phones are few of those factors. So the best way forward is to provide a replacement that does provide entertainment but with sound learning and information – anything that helps an individual or the society.”

In the past couple of years, JuD has developed an extensive online presence, which includes websites for JuD and its philanthropic arm, the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, and Facebook and Twitter accounts. The managers of Twitter accounts for the JuD and its head, Hafiz Saeed, engage actively with users – including its many detractors.

After the JuD offered assistance to the US to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the US Embassy in Islamabad wrote on Twitter: “We respect the Islamic tradition of help to the needy, but we can’t take Hafiz Saeed’s offer seriously. Saaed is wanted for suspected involvement in the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166. JuD is a UN and US-designated terrorist organisation.” The US offered a reward this April for up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Hafiz Saeed. The group, however, works openly in Pakistan and has expanded rapidly after its leadership was implicated in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

The digital project, ambitiously, will also try to provide an alternative to the “damage that has been done by violent games that most gaming giants have made throughout these years, by incepting [sic] all the wrong ideas and concepts.”

“Our vision behind these games would be to make the player a better human being, Muslim and a person who is equipped with the art of helping others with real-time information and practice in these games,” Rehman said. They also might have a brief introduction to JuD or Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, but will use the experience of these two groups in games related to education, rescue and relief.

Given that there are a considerable number of smartphone applications available with religious teachings, Hadiths and prayer timings, JuD will need to differentiate its product. “We know that a lot of work has been done already,” Rehman said. “For instance, authentic supplications with related keywords are something that can tremendously help people finding solace whenever and wherever they need, not sure if this kind of app is already available but we will ensure that wheel is not reinvented.”

Other religious groups in Pakistan have also upped their online presence. The banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat has a number of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. Other banned organisations, such as the Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Mohammad, have a number of their publications available online. The Jamaat-e-Islami also has separate Twitter accounts for its head Syed Munawar Hasan and Liaquat Baloch, its secretary general.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2012.

Reader Comments (20)

  • Umer
    Nov 17, 2012 - 11:11AM

    Hmm great initiative from any Islmic organization in development of our generation on the values of Islam. Keep it up !!!
    All the best.

    Recommend

  • Final Count Down
    Nov 17, 2012 - 11:39AM

    This was very much needed in the first place. Its good that Religiou orgs and outfits like JuD are coming or at least trying to come in the main stream. Only we need to give them a little space to prove themselves.

    Recommend

  • Abu Bakr
    Nov 17, 2012 - 11:53AM

    I really appreciate the wonderful article and right Islamic vision from Jamat Ud Dawa.

    Recommend

  • umme Muhammad
    Nov 17, 2012 - 1:40PM

    This is going to be a great achievement….raising children in today’s era of technology without exposing them to these kind of games that are nothing but a great waste of time is really difficult. these islamic application will help children and elders to get to know their religion everywhere anywhere.

    this is a kind of initial step and I wish them best of luck and success in their future plans for the guidance of ummah.

    Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2012 - 1:54PM

    islam is not name of namaz roza
    but it around every action of a muslim
    and aeound his life..
    if any org is doing our input to develop a muslim socity its good…

    Recommend

  • Sehrish Ali
    Nov 17, 2012 - 2:05PM

    This is a very well written and concise article. If I may, I’d like to stress something improtant regarding iPhone App development; while Jamat-ud-dawah is well versed in authentic Quranic Arabic and would be able to identify any discrepancies in such text, I’d like to caution them regarding recent applications that import Arabic text with severe flaws. Please ensure that the text is imported from an authentic source for the safety of all prospective app users. I love the good work Jamat-uddawah has been doing.Keep it up!

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  • Zeux
    Nov 17, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Good Job JuD. Keep it up. Give modern education along with religious education. no harm in it

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  • Yahya
    Nov 17, 2012 - 5:29PM

    I hope they keep at religious education without hatred for other communities! Which will be a challenge for them!

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  • manto
    Nov 17, 2012 - 7:45PM

    Again, a stupid news story. Has the JuD launched such an app yet? No. Maybe it will next year. So why report such crap?

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  • Nov 17, 2012 - 8:18PM

    I am not sure if Apple or Google will allow this App from a banned organization by UN on their appstores.

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  • Shah Rukh Syed
    Nov 17, 2012 - 8:45PM

    A great initiative by JUD.
    This will help to spread the message & understand islam.

    Recommend

  • Ali Raza
    Nov 17, 2012 - 8:48PM

    Common guys ! Hafiz Saeed was exonerated from all the cases, why does media still presents him as a shady figure. The fact the JuD is media savvy is hardly surprising, a significant chunk of their cadre comes from prestigious institutes of Pakistan. They just represent diversity of in our nation.

    Recommend

  • Mr.Hany
    Nov 18, 2012 - 1:05AM

    well done JAMAAT UD DAWA

    Recommend

  • PakArmySoldier
    Nov 18, 2012 - 2:31AM

    These mullahs present the biggest threat to Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • sohail
    Nov 18, 2012 - 2:37PM

    A very rational and positive initiative. Looking forward to the apps.

    Recommend

  • shy grl
    Nov 18, 2012 - 11:58PM

    congrats….!!!!
    a good step jud keep it up…..
    we muslims are wid u<<<<

    Recommend

  • islamdominant
    Nov 19, 2012 - 11:26AM

    good step jamat ud dawa… :P
    keep it up….
    all the muslims are with you…..
    we are waiting for apps and game.Recommend

  • islamdominant
    Nov 19, 2012 - 11:42AM

    gud effort by jamat ud dawa paksitan…:P

    Recommend

  • Noor
    Dec 6, 2012 - 12:43PM

    The problem is that media is owned by those who’ve yet to absorb the events of Crusades. That’s why they mention about them every now & then.

    Had media been impartial, the biased public opinion all over the world & even among our Muslim fellows, could have been averted.

    It is a fact of life that shady characters exist in every community, religion and state.
    Branding just Muslims & their well known figures is far from justice.

    Recommend

  • Noor
    Dec 6, 2012 - 12:48PM

    It is because we lagged behind in technology, that the media is now owned & mis-used by our opposite camp, internationally.

    Good direction.

    We should make advancement in all fields of technology.

    Recommend

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